Joined another two sewalongs, which I hope to actually participate in not just look at.
The first one is the Burda sewalong with a couple of Bloggers from New Zealand (Yay!) The Curious Kiwi and Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes. Basically you grab a Burda magazine or two that you might have in your pattern stash, chose a couple of patterns and get sewing. They even have a Pintrest group to post all your projects 🙂
You can find more information here:
So this is a challenge to actually get us crafty folk to wear our garments we sew, if we don’t already! You make a pledge, mine is:
‘I, Turina of Dreaming the Details, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2013’.
Some people have harder (well IMO for me!) pledges such as wearing only handmade items, or sewing stuff to wear etc. but you just make up your own pledge and hopefully keep to it, then you can just blog about your progress and share with the group ( sounds like therapy a bit hehe ) or join their Flicka group and post your photos there.
So the Me-Made-May-’13 sign up can be found here:
To tell you the truth I haven’t got a huge stash of handmade clothing to chose from, but I do have a few pieces being planned so it may not be as hard as I expect 🙂 And I have a few peices planned from the Burda Challenge also. Will post my ideas for the Burda Challenge in a separate post, and once May starts will hopefully remember to post what I wear everyday!!
Anyway the whole idea is to have fun, and be creative.
Just joined bloglovin, similar to Google reader which for some reason they got rid of. I love following the blogs like this, sort of like having your own personal online magazine with articles of all the things one loves to read about 🙂 Anyway, I had to claim my blog so need this post with the link at the top for Bloglovin to recognise my blog I suppose.
Being Downunder, we are currently going into winter, very year the same thing happens, I know winter is coming, but it sneaks up anyway. I’m usually left looking for our winter clothes and realise we need to replace clothes as we have outgrown them (usually the kids not me!). Lately, however the weather here in Australia has been getting colder every year, well it seems to be getting colder. So this year I have to get a few pieces that will keep us warm throughout the winter season, I’m going to sew most of what myself and the two girls need, and try and draft up a wardrobe for my son.
So my list for me is:
Jack3t – I want to use the new Robson coat pattern from Sewaholics (which I don’t have in store yet) for a light raincoat and the Lady Grey by Colette and either Butterick 5824 or the Coat Dress both by Gertie. I really need to replace my everyday jacket as well, but I really want to sew these ones first
Pants – Thinking may be a couple of pants, a Thurlow pant or three, and I want something straight as well.
Dresses – The Tiramisu dress by Cake Patterns will be yummy in something soft and warm, will layer so might make it a bit larger than my regular size. I purchased and downloaded the patterns from Cake Patterns on Crafsty here. Am absolutely loving the patterns from Merchant & Mills Draper (website here)in the UK and am feeling like I need a shift or two.
Tiramisu – Cake Patterns
Madison Dress – Merchant & Mills
Panel Dress – Merchant & Mills
Park Lane – Merchant & Mills
Tops – Also want a few tops no patterns yet, mainly to layer under dresses and other tops, but I do like the Pavlova from Cake patterns.
Also have a few plans to knit some scarves, socks and beanies and a shawl.
I have seen a couple of sew a longs going around the blogisphere, so I may join one or two such as the Burda Magazine Sewalong I saw on the Curious Kiwi’s blog here. Or the Me Made May ’13, you can sign up here, which also looks exciting!
…I recently joined the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge hosted by Leimomi Oakes on her blog The Dreamstress and the Facebook page dedicated to the challenge. The goal is to follow the events Leimomi posts for a fortnightly goal to make a historical article of clothing or accessory, historical being pre 1938. I started of really well, I was eager got a plan together for the first eight fortnightly events, I even made my first submission, and 1830ish chemise, but didn’t upload it to the Facebook page, mostly because after my semester and school started, I suddenly found I had no time to do anything!
However, I am starting to make time for everything I do at the moment, including sewing, so I am excited to try and enter the event due on the 21st of April called ‘By the Sea’. I was going to make a muumuu, which is a dress sometimes used for bathing by Hawaiian women. I was going to use on the the patterns by Victoria Jones, some of which can be altered to make a fairly authentic copy, I think. I wanted to use this one:
However, I don’t currently stock this patterns, so was thinking of altering one of the patterns I do have. I am also partial to this beach pajama pattern from Wearing History. I love it, and think I my make more use of this for lounging on the beach than a muumuu. It’s a hard decision, I like the romantic idea wearing a beautiful, cool, flowing muumuu while sitting under a coconut tree (I’m an urbanized Samoan so this is a long time dream hehe), however I like the sophisticated, elegant feel of lounging on deck chairs, sipping cocktails and eating tidbits from one of those little trays the stewards bring around on a cruise ship! Okay, will have to make both.
Anyway, if you are interested in historical sewing check out the Facebook page and blog, and even if this period isn’t for you, there is some great information about the history of fashion, which is always great reading.
This is my first offering, not very exciting, and I did use a non historical blue, polyester ribbon instead of the proper neck cord. But I mostly hand sewed it (what!! lol), some of those long side seams were so BORING to sew, so ended up using the machine for those. Actually, the hand sewing was very calming, and I plan to make use of it even in non historical clothing, it also allowed me more control of the garment, especially in the gusset area. Sorry about the photo, took it tonight the lighting was terrible, and this is the best I could get! Will try and get a better pic tomorrow!
I used the Regency underthings pattern by Sense and Sensibility. It was easy to put together, only the underarm gusset was a bit confusing, but there is a tutorial available on the Sense and Sensibility website that makes the process a bit easier.
P.S. Being the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Pride and Prejudice, this is a great year to start on your historical sewing goals, I love the costumes in both the 1995 BBC television mini-series version and the 2005 film, plus the book is a must read.
As usual for the new year I have plenty of new years resolutions, and we have already started on the exercise getting into shape resolution, and we’ve started of well, not just saying but actually doing. The best thing about it is that instead of just joining a gym and trying to force yourself to go, I’ve been trying to add moving into my daily routine. I know not a new concept, but probably the easiest in terms of actually getting the time to exercise, a common excuse for more than just me I’m sure 🙂 Every weekend, we get up real early and start the day at the beach, we go for a run, jog, walk or bike ride with the kiddies, and then for a swim afterwards as our reward, and we’ve been loving it! During the week, (I stay at home with the kids) I try and not put off those really hard jobs that are actually a great workout in disguise, like weeding the forest of a garden, washing the car, scrubbing the floors, clearing out the garages, decluttering those bedrooms and closets. So have been using those as the warm ups then go for a jog or walk as the main activity. I have even started walking to the mall instead of driving the very short distance, so all in all, a great start to the year.
So what has this got to do with creating great apparel, nothing really except this is the same process I have started using on my sewing and crafting goals, a little bit every day, and just keep moving, doing something;
I have started embroidery, not the technical fancy stuff just the easy stitches, running, backstitch, split stitch and trying to get the hang of french knots and satin stitch. My main inspirations are coming from Sublime Stitching, which is putting the cool back into an already excellent pastime, and also remembering the embroidery on my mum’s stuff she used to do, not sure why she stopped might get her a teatowel or something from Sublime Stitching to start her up again hehe! So I take my little embroidery bag wherever I go now, am working on a batiked and hand-painted butterfly I made when we had an art lesson recently with the kids. The dyes I used were not the correct ones so it didn’t batik(??) very well, so next option embroider in the details 😉
Carry on with last years job of mending and recycling old clothing and finishing WIP, has lost a bit of the shine in this area as mending is so tedious, and there are only so many recycled men’s tshirts one can wear!
I have also pulled out all my knitting and crocheting UFOs mainly toys, gloves and jumpers, If I still like the item being knitted I will finish, if I have lost interest and don’t want it now it gets pulled of the needles and back into the stash.. I want to get them all out the way because I have some cool projects planned for this year including historical stuff for the Historical Sew Fortnightly group I just joined (see below) and items I’d put in the too hard basket to even start, so yay!
I’ve recently joined The Historical Sew Fortnightly group, the organizer sets sewing goals to do with historical apparel, that they aim to finish on a fortnightly basis. It is exciting because I finally get to start all those Sense and Sensibility projects I’ve been wanting to and slightly scary, because I am not technically a historical seamstress! I mean I studied, very briefly, the history of clothing, but nothing major, so I really don’t know what I am doing, whether my clothes will be historically accurate, etc. Anyway it will be a bit of fun I hope, I already have an idea for 4 of the first seven fortnights. Will post a link when I write the post 🙂
Plus, my final personal sewing goal for the year, is to throw out all my unloved items of clothing and create a new wardrobe with what I have left. Am super excited about this and am also looking for a group or blog challenge to join for the year to keep me motivated 🙂
Business wise: well you’ll just have to stay tuned 🙂
But my main goals things I want to explore besides offering beautiful patterns, is to have a range of fabric, put out a very small clothing range, and design some boys patterns or rtw clothing. I always find or rather can’t find any well designed clothing or sewing patterns for my 8 yr old son. while there is some beautiful clothing ranges in the younger age range it sort of stops at 7 for some reason not sure why. Boys no longer look cute? (beg to differ here lol!), not a lot of scope for different designs may be? They get picky?? wear out their clothes too quickly, always look messy, don’t care what they wear. Who knows, I have seen some great blogs by super talented mums that do some great boys clothing, but just think there should be more available.
Anyway that’s a few of my goals for 2013, wonder what my end of year wrap up will look like 🙂
I love the end of the year, we get to wind down, think about the holidays, stop rushing.. I also love the Christmas projects.
One year along with my family, we made nearly all our Christmas presents and the wrapping, and without spending too much money it was really about recycling what we had already. We made bags, clothing, even a totara chopping board for my fishing mad brother, made out of a huge piece that my husband bought for a table top that we never made. For my husband’s family we bought their presents, and his brother and father were a little put out that we didn’t make their presents also! Now we won’t be making this year, but I have been able to get a whole lot of projects off the ground, but most importantly, finished hehe, (next year is definitely handmade again).
We all have them sitting in darkened corners of the cupboard, preying on your mind as you try and push it further down into forgotten memory by making other much more exciting projects, or try and justify non finishing by taking on mending jobs for all and sundry. However, the thought is always there, “…just finish me and I’ll be out of your way forever!” So my unfinished project list consists of:
bags of clothes that ‘can be made into something else’ .
mending that I have previously taken on and never finished.
and several new jobs in various states of being made up.
I like reconstructed clothing, or upcycling, recycling, what ever you want to call it, the art of taking a piece of clothing and turning it into something else. I have seen some amazing reconstructed clothes some of the cutest is recycling adult clothing into cute children’s clothing, using old wool sweaters for mittens or hats, and the cut tshirts which I love. Some great inspiration I’ve found are on the following links –
…Tasia from Sewaholic recently announce the Cordova Jacket:
It’s a fitted, lined jacket with a flattering peplum detail and a zip front closure. This jacket bridges the gap between dressy and casual depending on the fabric selection. Princess seams make it easy to customize the fit, and the collarless neckline means it’s perfect to wear with cosy scarves in the winter.
She also has a variety of different versions/fabric on her blog made by her pattern testers, so pop over and have a peek.
The Renfrew top is also in stock, and we are waiting for the Cambie dress to arrive, hopefully before Thursday.
…Love the new sewing machine so much, makes me wonder why it took me so long to spend money on a good machine, in fact I wonder why I would bother at all with a cheap machine! Granted $500 isn’t exactly a huge outlay, but it is a wise outlay, basically, I have historically only sewed when I needed something, or someone asked me to hem pants legs, make a dress, etc. , or while at work, now I do something sewing related nearly everyday. I have also started organising everything like never before, I am sorting the interfacing from the rest of the materials, finding ribbons amongst the sewing notions, finding garments already cut and ready to sew amongst more fabric! It’s hectic, but fulfilling, seeing things organised. I have prewashed tons of fabric in the last day or so, some of it still on the line, now I have alot of fabric ready to be fashioned into amazing garments hehe. All this because I know when I get on the machine, it is going to work and work well am stoked!
Anyway, I love boxes tins and baskets for organising, I like finding pieces that can be used in a variety of ways, the plastic storage bins are great but sometimes get too bulky and unsightly.
Even though the sewing room doubles as a school room (The room I’m using is quite large, it has our upstairs tv area in one 1/4, the computer area in the other 1/4, the sewing room in another 1/4 and the homeschool area in the last 1/4.) I have separated my sewing area with bookcases and a separate table for the machines.
Sewing machine update
I was lucky enough to pickup a walking foot for my Bernina of Gumtree here in Australia (an online trading place) for only $5 plus postage, I felt a bit guilty, seeing as they are $60+ on Ebay, so gave an extra $5 for running around etc. lol
I’m in love with a chunky little nugget, a toyboy really as he is nearly 20 years my junior! Let me tell you my story 🙂
I didn’t win the Bernina 1030 which went for $750 in the end, I was disappointed, but there were a few other similar models going also so I just waited and Googled a few more reviews. It appears absolutely no-one is willing to part with their 1008 so no luck there. To tell you the truth, after watching all these auctions for 20+old machines, expecially the 830’s and 1030, etc., going for $350-1200 dollars a piece, I thought someone’s having a great laugh out there and just raking it in. I have sort of been reading all the reviews with hesitation, you know when someone gushes about something and sometimes in your head your thinking, “yeah right, can’t be all good tell me the truth!” (I’m a glass half empty kind of girl, hehe).
Well, I ended up winning a Bernina 1130 also on Ebay on Friday. This morning the lovely man selling it emails at 6.40am, and lets me know that he was coming past my way so would be able to drop it off, I was awake and of course I accepted. By 10.00am this morning I was the proud new owner of a 20+ year old Bernina 1130! The man selling it was lovely, apparently he’s called the Sewing Doctor, or Dr. Sew, here in Sydney, which is lucky for me, because he has completely reconditioned the machine. Plus he does house calls to service sewing machines, and sells industrial machines as well as domestic, so my future supply in good working sewing machines is safe. I just wanted to get the machine upstairs, but he was determined that I was happy and understood the machine first, these salesmen, always trying to make the customer happy!
According to the Bernina entry in Wikipedia, the 1130 was manufactured between 1986-89, the “First computerized BERNINA with fully automatic one-step buttonholes and stitch memory.” (reference: Bernina Wiki ).
The Big Reveal
Of course I went straight upstairs to where I had prepared a spot for my new chunky nugget, and got unpacking. Honestly, I was like a kid opening her presents on Christmas day, I was so excited. When I turned it on for the first time and all the lights came on I was ecstatic hehe! I’ve never owned a sewing machine before with so many lights.
It did not come complete, which I already knew, for a collector like me that only means one thing, more looking. The presser feet that did come with it were the 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6,8 and 9, see below, the only two that didn’t come with the machine, was the 0 for straight stitching/zigzag, (you know what? I’m good with that, No. 1 does the job so will not need it at all) and the No. 7 the Tailor tacking foot, also not fussed but will pickup if I find one.
It does not have the accessory case (or any of the accessories except the brush) that attaches to the back of the baseplate or the container for all the feet. It only had one bobbin, so purchase No. 2 will be to pick up more bobbins. It did however come with the “My Bernina guide”, instruction book, plus the presser foot knee lifter lever, so yay! After the auction last night, I bought a pdf of the user guide online, thinking that there was no instruction book with this auction, however I also found out that there are in fact two user manuals, Vol 1 which came with the machine, and Vol 2 which is with the pdf I bought, so win win.
Set Up and Sewing
It is alot different to a Janome, or Singer, or even a Brother, all of which I have had varying degrees of experience. I was a bit worried because when I took the foot control out of the storage area, it only had one retractable cord (what the heck, bonus!) that plugs into the sewing machine and no power cord, until I realised that the power cord also retracts but into the machine, (double bonus!!). The setup was very foreign to me, so it took a while, plus I read the instructions first (after not being able to find the power cord). The front loading bobbin was familiar, but the bobbin filler was not, so had to work my way through the instructions for that one. Threading was straight forward, nothing too difficult.
Then came the sewing, I wanted to see if a 2nd hand Bernina could still sew well, straight out of the box, and you know what it did! I used a piece of poplin, which was probably a bit thin to use, without changing the tension, and it performed beautifully just a small amount of gathering, probably could be fixed by changing the tension. When I tried the decorative stitches, I used a thicker material and they, also, were easy, as well as little works of computerized art. Not sure how fast this thing sews, but it is a good speed, and QUIET, I know all those with newer, bigger, quieter computerised machines are skeptical. However, this is a breakthrough for me and very welcomed as the 1130 will live upstairs, and to be able to sew at night without rocking the house and disturbing others is great.
A feature I thought was handy is the ability to sew at 1/2 speed instead of full speed. Not sure if this is a common thing on newer machines, but is great as the girls are learning to sew and it will be much safer using it at a slower speed.
I suppose I will find out if there are any other downsides to the machine, so will update cons when necessary.
It doesn’t have all the bells n whistles the newer machines have, but as I’ve said before I really don’t need them, if I want a quilt I will find a beautiful one on Etsy or from a local quilter 🙂
Very limited embroidery range, and memory storage, but I’m not that interested in embroidery on my clothes, (I could change who knows).
When I say chunky little nugget, that’s exactly what he is, I’d say about 15kgs, so alot to lug around if I start going to classes.
The Bernina 1130 is very easy to use, especially if reading the instructions first, it feels good to use, is very stable when sewing even at top speed. This is a beautiful piece of machinery, that will stay in my family and probably be passed down to my youngest, design orientated daughter, I know gushing again. I will probably get another older Bernina if the price and condition is right, and very soon, probably the 830 or 1008, the thing I hate more than broken thread, or a machine jamming, is having to rethread for different projects one has running concurrently, all the time.
If you are just beginning and have only a certain amount to purchase a machine, I would definitely recommend an older Bernina, if in good condition, even an 830 which is even older than this one (early 80s), the reviews are not lying to you. You really can’t go wrong. I have not sewed anything significant yet, will let you know when I do, but to have a sewing machine that sews effortlessly, without any problems straight up, is the first step in continuing to sew all the time.
The cheap, not well made machines are sometimes not worth the hassle to even get out of the box, and really the other good machines I have tried have not stood the test of time. I know there are other machines out there and others have their own dream machines, I am not by any stretch of the imagination, an expert, and have not used a lot of sewing machines, but this is really a dream machine for me. May be one day I might invest in a top of the line embroidery/quilting type machine, but until I have a spare $5,000-13,000 lying around, I won’t even consider it.
…Have been in the market for a new overlocker and sewing machine recently. I have done some research online, read reviews and looked at what others have said on their blogs and have made a list of what I am looking for.
What I want in an Overlocker and Sewing Machine:
need something semi industrial or at least very reliable and fast.
Not 100% sure what a walking foot is but I’m sure I need it!
With the sewing machine I don’t need all the fancy stitches, and I probably won’t be embroidering or quilting anytime soon.
Do need a good button hole, onestep if possible.
differential feed on the over locker, at least 4 thread.
Rolled hem option also with the overlocker.
Tension is always a problem with me so need machines that keep fairly easy tension or at least are easy to get good tension.
Both machines need to be able to sew all types of material.
And I can get lessons, phone support and servicing for both machines.
I don’t know how much sewing I will be actually doing, whether just as a domestic/sample sewing, or whether I will sew more than just a few pieces of clothing a week. I decided however to go for the non industrial versions and upgrade later on if necessary.
The machines that kept cropping up the most in forums, blogs, etc., was Bernina, they said things such as ‘reliable’, ‘workhorse’, ‘wouldn’t part with it’ etc.
I narrowed my selections down to the following:
Bernina 1008 $1200-1599 or the 1031 (an older model similar to the 1008 I think(??) but slightly faster @ 1100 stitches/minute.) $600+ on Ebay
This is listed as a semi industrial machine on the Bernina site. I first read about the 1008 on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, an emotive, well written review, especially from someone who loves their machine, gets me every time. It does help, however that it:
sews a 1050 stitches per minute, (an average household sewing machine has approx700-900 stitches per minute), it is robust, and reliable, and does not tangle up, which is good enough for me.
It is a mechanical machine, as opposed to a computerized one, this appeals because I am not 100% comfortable with computerized anything let alone what will become my dearest friend:)
It has only the basic set of 17 stitches, which includes 1 button hole,
Is made out of metal and not plastic.
The woman at Craft Depot today, let me know that the 1008 is used in schools, and rather a few reviews, said that it was an entry level machine, and good for beginners, having all the basics for fuss free sewing, is easy to use, and is reliable and hardy. However at $1200+ here in Australia, it may be out of reach of the average beginners.
Found a great review here at Patternreview.com for the 1031, not sure if you need to log in or not to read the review.
I like the fact that it is fuss free.
Can sew really fast.
Is reliable and will last hopefully a lifetime!
It is not plastic!!
Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, (but I won’t use them anyway, it would just be a waste of money for me.)
Have read a couple of reviews that state, that they have had a few tension problems with the 1008. But if buying new I would take classes to familiarise myself with all the machines quirks.
It is heavy.
Bernina 950 (second hand) $450+ of Ebay
This is an industrial machine, but as it is listed as only $450 am not worried that it will cost too much. I do have concerns that it will not be up to scratch and that I would need to have it at least serviced before I use it. But I think for the speed I can get out of it (2000 stitches per minute) then it would be worth consideration.
Bernina 350 $1299+
This is brand new from a local dealer, it was recommended when I bought my overlocker of her, and it does sound great on the website although it only has 900 stitches per minute. (I know I keep on going on about speed, you might think that speed may not be an important part of this equation, but coming from a clothing factory background, with all the work done on industrial machines, ruins you for the run of the mill home machine hehe.)
Off the Bernina Website
Modern LCD Display
Stitch Length / Stitch Width
Direct Stitch Selection
Quick Reverse Button
Two Spool Holders
LED Sewing Light
Bernina 830 Record (second hand) $350+ off Ebay also.
Also with great reviews, I like the idea that I can get a reliable machine for hopefully under $500. This is a very old model, manufactured between 1975-1983 I think. The one I had my eye on was a bit worse for wear, cosmetically. Have found another listing, same price, but in much better condition. The stitches per minute is a nice 1100 so no slow mo here. Everyone makes it sound almost like a dream machine without the extras which I would never need.
I’m just not sure, I have two 2nd hand ones at the moment, a really cheap brand and a Singer, exactly like my mum used to have. Unfortunately both are very disappointing, so another 2nd hand machine is not my top priority, but those reviews on all the above models!!
The overlocker was not too had a decision to make. I only wanted something that was reliable, not too expensive, differential feed, four thread’s+, those are all things that come pretty standard these days. I decided on the Bernina 700D, which was not in stock, but got delivered earlier this week. Overlocks beautifully straight out of the box, I am a very happpy chappy!